Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bertie Bus's busy day

"Ah", sighed Bertie, "if only Margaret Thatcher hadn't sold me off for a knockdown price, perhaps every day would be as exciting as today!" But, as he settled quietly down to sleep at his dépôt, he knew it could never be. Just as she had with all her other privatisation money, the nasty lady had spent the proceeds on tax-cuts for her supporters instead of repaying the national debt . So now there was nothing left to invest for the future. How he envied his chums in London where there was at least an effective system of regulation unlike out in the sticks where his routes ran.

Bertie's day had started normally. His driver arrived at six o'clock whistling even more merrily than usual. He started Bertie's engine and left him to warm up for a bit. Then off they went to pick up the children all eager to get to school for another thrilling day. They started down the winding country lanes where rabbits and foxes waved cheerfully as they passed. There are never many children to pick up in these neat little honey-coloured villages but soon they were on the edge of town and there were loads more merrily playing pranks as they waited at their stops.

How Bertie loved the sound of their jolly voices laughing and joking all the way to school and how quiet it always seemed after he'd left them and driven back to the dépôt for elevenses. But, instead of turning left as they normally did, today his driver had hauled his steering wheel to the right as they left the school. Soon Bertie found himself at the station where lots of cheerful folk were waiting to be taken to the racecourse. All day he ran happily back and forth twixt racecourse and station until it was time to return to school to collect the tired but merry children and take them back to their stops.

But his day still wasn't finished. They raced back to Presbury Park to ferry all his new race-going friends back to the station. It took many trips to get all the cheerful bunch back for their trains. At last they were finished and off to the dépôt they drove where Bertie and all his chums could tell each other happy tales of the day's derring-dos and adventures. And there were three more race days to look forward to....

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